I've been a bit lax in keeping up my log so this will be a longer edition than normal. First up are the reads I finished before the end of December, which included a couple standouts I was glad to fit into my year-end round-up.
City of Dreams and Nightmares by Ian Whates - This is Whates' debut novel and it was quite a fun trip in a city made up of a hundred floors/levels. I included it in in my best of post so it couldn't be too bad. It is New Weirdish with lots of innovative ideas, but without the horror aspect, at least so far. This is only the start to a series so there is plenty more to this world as we only glimpse some of the levels and spend most of it on the poorer sewer-like areas. I just want to know what is with the cyclops from the cover as he only appears briefly in the story?
CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh - This is a debut author trying to emulate an older style of Military Sci-Fi that fell flat for me. The characters grated on me and their emotions were over explained along with dialogue that needed to be stronger. There were some nice touches such as psychic abilities being used for pilots and some good fight scenes. However, it wasn't engaging, but does show some promise if the author can up his game with his next story.
The House of Discarded Dreams by Ekaterina Sedia - I never know what to expect from a Sedia novel and she more than delivered this time around with a work mixing in African mythology, Psychic Energy Babies, and a hole in the universe growing off some guy's head. Very weird stuff, but it beautifully and emotionally well done. If you like your Fiction out of the box Sedia is a can't miss author. I hope to do a full review.
Lireal by Garth Nix - This is the second book in the much loved Abhorsen trilogy. Go read some Nix. That's an order. You can thank me later. I've been holding myself back from reading each succeeding book just so I have something to go to when I get in a reading rut.
January and early February was a pretty good reading period. Starting now I'll be keeping track of all reads this year by number as I curious exactly how many books I read in a year. I have a good idea of the number (probably around 100 or so), but I've never kept good track before.
- 1. A Hard Day's Knight by Simon R. Green - The penultimate novel in the Nightside series keeps the going quite strong. If you liked the last few in the series you'll definitely like this one. Lots of Arthurian mythos mixed in with Green's dark bent.
- 2. The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe - Wolfe's Books of the New Sun series are some of the most highly regarded works in modern Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the story, world and characters, which is as I expected. In the end I enjoyed the story, but I was probably trying too hard to read it on different levels. The next volume I'll just try to sit back and enjoy it.
- 3. Diving Mimes, Weeping Czars, and Other Unusual Suspects by Ken Scholes - This is Scholes's second short story collection and contains two stories related to the world of The Psalms of Isaak, which makes it worth grabbing just for those alone. The collection as a whole shows the breadth of Scholes ample skills from the emotional to the hilarious.
- 4. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - Check out my re-read posts here and here.
- 5. An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin - Some of you might be saying: That Steve Martin? And the answer is yes. Only this isn't a comedy, but Martin's first full length novel after the very fine novellas Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company both of which explore the idea of identity and longing for something else the latter of which was quite funny. This time around Martin explores the NYC art scene of the 90s and early 00s from the inside out. The love and appreciation for art come through although the main character left me cold yet I still cared what happened to her at the end.
- 6. God's War by Kameron Hurley - See my review of what is the best Sci-Fi debut I've read this year so far or my interview with Hurley.
- 7. Brave New Worlds edited by John Joseph Adams - Highly recommended. Review to come.
- 8. Axe Cop (Vol. 1) by Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle - This webcomic is simply amazing. Go read it now or watch the fan made video. It will blow your mind hole.
- 9. A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham - With all the talk of Abraham's new Fantasy entry The Dragon's Path I want to revisit his first series with a reread, which again made me appreciate the depth of prose he is capable of. Check out Aidan's review, which more than does Abraham's debut justice. I'm now ready for The Dragon's Path.
- 10. Bloodshot by Cherie Priest - This was an absolute gas. If you like Urban Fantasy with humor this is a can't miss. Review to come.
- 11. The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett - Brett's debut from a couple years ago has been sitting on my to-read shelf for over a year and it was high time I got to what many consider up there with Abercrombie and Rothfuss. This was a fantastic read in a richly imagined world, very fine fight scenes, and an intriguing premise. At first it was odd how things are split up from character POVs that took some getting use to. Just when you felt yourself get invested with one character we jump to a new one. But after the main players are introduced it is smooth sailing. Overall, it is a must read for Fantasy fans. And luckily I have The Desert Spear to look forward already in my collection. I may do a full review at some point.
- 12. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch - This new Urban Fantasy debut was quite fun, but I didn't care much for one of the two main story lines. However, this book shows great promise for a long running series and a likable protagonist. It is not a new Dresden, but it isn't trying to be either, which is a very good thing. Review most likely to come.
- 13. Farlander by Col Buchanan - A strong debut for world-building fans, but a tad weak on the character side. Very interesting mix of Flintlock Fantasy in a slightly industrialize world light on magic with airships, but this certainly isn't Steampunk. I'm intrigued enough to check out the next volume Stands a Shadow after it is released. Fans of Brent Weeks and Jon Sprunk would definitely find something new in this assassin's guild style novel.
- 14. Brightest Day (Vol. 1) by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi - The aftermath of Blackest Night starts to hit home as the heroes resurrected try to find purpose. This series is off to splendid start. Now when can I get the next volume?
- 15. Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and The Heirs of the Storm (Vol. 9) by Phil & Kaja Foglio - The latest volume keeps the story on an even keel with the past and if one axiom is true it is "There's never enough Girl Genius." At least I have the first GG novel in my hands now.
- 16. The Goon: Death's Greedy Comeuppance (Vol. 10) by Eric Powell - The latest volume of The Goon is something of a tease as only two issues worth are actually about the Goon, one of which is done with no dialogue. The rest of the collection is comprised of the Buzzard mini series about the reverse zombie's adventures apart from the Goon. It was great getting a more in-depth window into Buzzard, but I wanted more Goon. The art is still second to none in the comic game.
- 17. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt - Oswalt brings the funny pretty well, but the chapters are a bit uneven. The titular chapter was incredibly funny, especially if you grew up nerd as he associated every thing to either zombie, spaceships, and wastelands. The script notes chapter had me in tears as Patton dissembles a clearly awful script I just wonder how close to real these notes were. If you are a big Patton fan grab it. If you're not too huge a fan wait for the paperback as this volume is a bit slim for the cover price.
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Mad Hatter's Reading Log Vol 1.
Mad Hatter's Reading Log Vol 2.
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